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Matthew Boulton College Students Scoop Top Prizes In Comic Relief Project

A nine-week ‘live’ project set by Career Colleges with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Comic Relief for 60 students from four digital Career Colleges including Matthew Boulton College, has come to an exciting climax.

The students had been challenged to develop a solution within the digital space to engage even more 16-24 year olds with Comic Relief and secure their future support.

Students from Matthew Boulton College scooped two top prizes – one for best solution and one for best reflection.

At the project’s final, the 16 -19 year olds from Matthew Boulton College, Barking & Dagenham and Harrow and Westminster Kingsway Colleges, had to present their solutions to each other and a panel of judges, including representatives from AWS, Comic Relief and the Career Colleges Trust.

In a very tight contest, a team from Barking & Dagenham College triumphed as overall winners.

Teams from Matthew Boulton College and Harrow College both scooped the prize for Best Solution, as the judges couldn’t choose between their projects. A prize for Best Reflection – a vital part of the project – was awarded to the team from Matthew Boulton College.

Initial proposals to this challenge were submitted at the end of last year and three winning ideas were selected – Think Feel Do, Red Hand Print and a Malaria application. Students were then split into groups of five and given one of these three ideas to develop and create a digital application for.

Alongside coming up with an innovative solution, students had to cost and plan the project out. They had attended an initial brief at AWS’ offices in January and had to hold regular meetings, mirroring a real-life industry project.

Commenting on taking part in the competition and on the award for best reflection, Matthew Boulton College, Level 3 Computing and Creative IT student Olufemi Caleb Davis, said:

“This project gave me the opportunity to work with people that I’d never worked with before and really taught me how to take everyone’s opinion on board and showed me the true meaning of team working. It also helped me realise how important time management is. I really feel that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and has equipped me with skills that will stand me in good stead for the future.”

Digital Lead for the Career Colleges Trust, Julia Von Klonowski, says:

“This project was the second one we have undertaken with AWS – part of our ongoing plan to increase young people’s awareness of the digital industry and the roles available.

“The standard of presentations and ideas today blew me away. The winning teams were exceptional and I have no doubt that everyone involved has an exciting digital career ahead of them.

“Taking part in a live project with one of the world’s biggest digital companies is a unique opportunity. Students have not only developed their team-working and digital skills but they have also gained first-hand insight into this extremely exciting industry.

“The link with Comic Relief added an important aspect, highlighting how technology can benefit so many people and causes. I am hugely grateful to AWS and Comic Relief for all their support to help these talented young people and congratulate everyone involved, especially the winning teams.”

This is the second year that the Trust has worked with AWS to set a live project brief for digital Career College students and plans are underway to develop a further project for later this year.

Chris Hayman, Head of UK & IR, AWS Public Sector says:

“We were delighted to be part of this project and to help inspire the next generation of digital technology experts.

“My colleagues and I were highly impressed with the work produced and the professional way in which the students conducted themselves and managed the project.

“Through our work with the Career Colleges Trust, we have the opportunity to introduce more young people to the latest and most innovative cloud technologies. These technologies are critical for today’s workforce, and we were impressed as to how the students put these new skills into action.

“I wish the students all the best in their future digital careers and we hope to see many of them again.”

Judge Val Pomfrey, Head of Youth Engagement and Fundraising for Comic Relief, added:
“Comic Relief is so proud to have supported this event. What we witnessed was truly special, the students gave such care and attention to the task. If you’d asked me to come to Amazon in my formative years and present to such an audience, I’d like to think I’d have had the courage, but I’m really not sure.

The Trust will now be running a follow up session with all the colleges, helping to reinforce the skills that have been learnt and to plan next year’s project.


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